Derek Bonnett looks at the past, present and future for Armando Torres, who has turned his career around and wants Ken Shiro
Old adages often fit so well in the sport of boxing. “Better late than never” or “the least likely can be the most dangerous” come to mind when I consider light-flyweight contender Armando Torres. However, prior to October 11, 2019, few would have referred to Torres as a contender. However, Torres, 38, turned the tables on former 108lb titlist Ganigan Lopez by halting his countryman in the first round. Torres, 25-18 (19), hurt Lopez with a right uppercut and sent him to the canvas with about 30 seconds to go in the round. A left-right hook combo dropped the former champion again with about 10 seconds left on the clock. Lopez’ nose ran red, but he got up from the canvas in time, only to have the referee spare him further punishment so close to the bell.
At 38, the “Better late than never” aphorism suits Torres for obvious reasons. In boxing this age is the twilight of your career if you’re lucky. For smaller fighters, it’s almost unheard of for a boxer to be scoring his biggest win as a professional at this stage of life. Yet, Torres may have been among “the least likely” as Lopez previously defeated him by unanimous 12-round decision in 2011 when the two were straw-weights. If Lopez was looking past Torres, this made him “the most dangerous”.
“In the first fight, I never boxed with a left-hander,” Torres recounted of his rivalry with southpaw Lopez. “Now, I have boxed with many left-handers and I prepared very well.”
Also, “The apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree”, so to speak, and the Mexican boxer is doing his best to deliver on his promise as the nephew of the very formidable German Torres. That Torres won a portion of the light-flyweight title back in 1988. It was his fifth attempt after losing to Hilario Zapata and thrice to Jung Koo Chang.
“[We] don’t give up so easy,” Torres shared through translation. “I know I can make it to be a world champion.”
The Lopez victory put the exclamation point on a four-fight win-streak for Armando Torres. He’s had some rough patches, but prior to this run of form he had lost six in a row. In there he faced two more former world champions in Adrian Hernandez and Mario Rodriguez. He also let Ivan Meneses Flores even the score with him as a pro.
Going back even further, Torres dropped a split decision to former world champion Pedro Guevara in 2014.
“With Pedro Guevara, my [victory] was stolen,” Torres asserted.
Torres isn’t preoccupied with the past and has his eyes set on the future. A big one. One well beyond the WBC Latino flyweight belt he nabbed last week. No, his eyes are on Japan’s Ken Shiro, who will be unifying two-thirds of the light-flyweight titles against Felix Alvarado of Nicaragua on December 23.
“We are going to prepare strongly for when they give me the opportunity. I will prepare for any champion,” Torres stated. “[I will] take advantage of it and leave world champion.”
For now, Torres can only train hard and hope that “Good things come to those who wait.”